There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.
If I were ever stranded on a desert island there would be three things I’d need: food, shelter, and a grip.
George C. Scott
We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.
There’s nothing creative about living within your means.
Francis Ford Coppola
I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in.
People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
I think it’s a very strange question that I have to defend myself. I don’t feel that. You are all my guests, it’s not the other way around, that’s how I feel.
Lars Von Trier
If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.
Daryl F. Zanuck
Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.
In England, I’m a horror movie director. In Germany, I’m a filmmaker. In the US, I’m a bum.
My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker.
There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive – in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.
When you start out as a filmmaker, you do parodies, because you can’t really compete on a studio level.
As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I’m trapped in a genre that I love, but I’m trapped in it!
George A. Romero
Everybody’s a filmmaker today.
Pain is temporary, film is forever!
I would travel down to Hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary.
My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.
The wide screen reminds me of a roll of toilet paper.
I like tits and ass. Mostly tits.
Editing feels almost like sculpting or a form of continuing the writing process.
I don’t have a moral plan, I’m a Canadian.
(When asked what a director does) I help.
Film is a battleground.
There’s nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a film maker
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.
A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.
Documentaries have always inspired me in narrative filmmaking.
Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It’s about the big picture.
Movies took you right up to the edge but kept you safe.
This Whole World is Wild at Heart and Weird on Top.
Films are always pretentious. There’s nothing more pretentious than a filmmaker.
I couldn’t sleep one night and I was sitting in my office and I realized that I was an independent filmmaker.
If filmmaking was a beautiful woman, I would have trouble wooing her because she’s a needy jerk.
I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.
Self-plagiarism is style.
What I always tell people is… Unless you are so passionate about filmmaking that you would rather live out of your car than not do it, find something else to do as a career and do filmmaking as a hobby. This industry is one of the hardest to break into and be successful. It takes a lot of passion and dedication for it to get anywhere…
A Great Movie Evolves when Everybody Has the Same Vision in Their Heads.
A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
The Biggest Mistake in Student Films is That They Are Usually Cast So Badly, With Friends and People the Directors Know.
Brian De Palma
Nothing Recedes Like Success.
All I Need to Make a Comedy is a Park, a Policeman and a Pretty Girl.
The Best Actors Instinctively Feel out What the Other Actors Need, and They Just Accommodate It.
Anxiety is the Handmaiden of Creativity.
Censors Tend to Do What Only Psychotics Do: They Confuse Reality With Illusion.
Art Depends on Luck and Talent.
Francis Ford Coppola
A Hunch is Creativity Trying to Tell You Something.
If You Want to Send a Message, Try Western Union.
Although I Write Screenplays, I Don’t Think I’m a Good Writer.
People Watch Luck Go by Them and They’re Blind – They Never Reach out and Grab It.
George Roy Hill
And Later I Thought, I Can’t Think How Anyone Can Become a Director Without Learning the Craft of Cinematography.
Gus Van Sant
I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today’s movies. They believe everything they’re hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up.
Photography is Truth. The Cinema is Truth Twenty-four Times Per Second.
A Film is a Petrified Fountain of Thought.
A Director Makes Only One Movie in His Life. Then He Breaks It Into Pieces and Makes It Again.
I Don’t Try to Guess What a Million People Will Like. It’s Hard Enough to Know What I Like.
Life is Like a B-picture Script. It is That Corny. If I Had My Life Story Offered to Me to Film, I’d Turn It Down.
I Am Certain There is Too Much Certainty in the World.
If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.
A Team Effort is a Lot of People Doing What I Say.
The Only Safe Thing is to Take a Chance.
I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
If a Million People See My Movie, I Hope They See a Million Different Movies.
The End of a Picture is Always an End of a Life.
A Lot of Times You Get Credit for Stuff in Your Movie You Didn’t Intend to Be There.
A Movie That Costs Only $1.6 Million Doesn’t Have to Be a Cultural Event to Turn a Profit.
Why Pay a Dollar for a Bookmark? Why Not Use the Dollar for a Bookmark?
The More Opinions You Have, the Less You See.
Eighty Percent of Success is Turning Up.
If My Film Makes One More Person Miserable, I’ve Done My Job.
It’s all just one film to me. Just different chapters.
If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.
You see so many movies… the younger people who are coming from MTV or who are coming from commercials and there’s no sense of film grammar. There’s no real sense of how to tell a story visually. It’s just cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, you know, which is pretty easy.
Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.
We tend to do period stuff because it helps make it one step removed from boring everyday reality.
In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about.
First cuts are a bitch for a director, because it’s been so many months and you put your trust in your editor and you’re going to see your film assembled for the first time. You look at it and go, This is terrible. I hate it.
Our feeling is that the most important thing on a set is that actors have enough confidence to try different things. If there’s stress or tension, they won’t go out on a limb because they won’t want to embarrass themselves if they don’t feel completely comfortable.
Casting is 65 percent of directing.
Movement should be a counter, whether in action scenes or dialogue or whatever. It counters where your eye is going. This style thing, for me it’s all fitted to the action, to the script, to the characters.
I’m a storyteller – that’s the chief function of a director. And they’re moving pictures, let’s make ‘em move!
One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own kind of expedition, with its own set of challenges.
Most of my characters are romantic rather than sexual. I think that’s an essential difference in my pictures. I think they are more accurate in portraying young people as romantic – as wanting a relationship, an understanding with a member of the opposite sex more than just physical sex.
The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it.
I’m like a navigator and I try to encourage our collaboration and find the best way that will produce fruit. I like fruit. I like cherries, I like bananas.
I think maybe making films is something innate you can’t really teach to begin with.
But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.
Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you are knocked down.
I always believe it’s better to have 30 imaginations working on a project, rather than one imagination telling the other 29 what to do.
Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.
A style is not a matter of camera angles or fancy footwork, it’s an expression, an accurate expression of your particular opinion.
I love making people laugh. It’s an addiction and it’s probably dysfunctional, but I am addicted to it and there’s no greater pleasure for me than sitting in a theater and feeling a lot of people losing control of themselves.
It’s always been my formula to get the next picture set up before anyone’s seen the last one.
Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.
People say I pay too much attention to the look of a movie but for God’s sake, I’m not producing a Radio 4 Play for Today, I’m making a movie that people are going to look at.
A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.